Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER Boneyard Prayer
2008-04-09

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Conceived by Frank Maugeri,

written in collaboration with Seth Bockley

At: Redmoon Central, 1463 W. Hubbard

Phone: 312-850-8440; $15, $35

Runs through: May 11

BY CATEY SULLIVAN

There's a gorgeous melancholy to Redmoon Theater's Boneyard Prayer, as well as a timbre as rich and sorrowful as the loam over an ancient grave. Conceived and directed by Frank Maugeri, the piece taps into the grief of the profound and the eternal while telling a story of exquisite specificity that echoes into the universal.

Boneyard Prayer is as terrifying as it is beautiful in its depiction of the supreme fallibility of human beings. Though lilting, haunting music by Charles Kim and a story by Maugeri written in collaboration with Seth Bockley, the tumble from happiness and security to lost, living ghost is revealed as a spiral made up of the tiniest steps, each one infinitely easy to take. In the best of times, the Depression-era hobos and lonesome tramps of Boneyard Prayer could create a powerful story. Today, as thousands lose their homes to predatory lenders and the most basic health insurance is only a dream for millions, Redmoon's fable is little less than galvanizing.

The dichotomy between the harrowing journey of Martin and Alice from their exuberant, turn-of-the-century dance-hall romance to soul-crushed pennilessness in 1938 and the sheer beauty of the storytelling is hypnotic. Co-director Tracy Otwell's set design incorporates 641 pounds of dirt ( we'll take their word for the weight ) , a literal representation of dust to dust. As the story unspools, this sepia graveyard world of ashes and grit morphs into a shadowscape of freight cars, tenement apartments, third-tier vaudeville stages and the vast, cold and frightening terrain of the homeless.

The mesmerizing fable of Alice and Martin begins with a musical invocation from Alice as she cradles an infant in a coffin-sized square of light. 'Someday, we're all gonna go back home,' intones Kasey Foster's Alice, and it's with a voice that could draw tears from statues. The baby is dead, and as she buries it in a moment both shocking and gentle, the stage opens up into a world of hard labor and harder drinking.

With comic shadings slyly reverberating from Waiting for Godot, we meet Martin ( Alex Balestrieri, voice colored by both defiance and desperation ) , the husband who left Alice 23 years earlier in a tragic, alcoholic haze. Like some deeply damaged Odysseus, he's finally come home.

A ragtag ensemble of gravediggers tells the redemptive tale of Martin and Alice in song and by manipulating a pair of eerily expressive puppets. Jesse Mooney-Bullock's weathered, wooden Alice and Martin—each hand-carved from single slabs of wood—are simply extraordinary, their lined, exhausted faces summoning the spirit of the late, great Dorothea Lange's iconic photos documenting the Depression.

Irreparable loss and sublime, divine forgiveness—both are embedded in the brutal poetry of Boneyard Prayer, which surely stands as one of Redmoon's finest achievements.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

47th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards postponed 2020-06-03
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Improv House Party 2020-06-03
THEATER Larry Kramer (1935-2020), polemicist and playwright 2020-05-30
Jeff Awards Nominee Night cabaret concert online June 1 2020-05-29
Chita: A Legendary Celebration to stream May 29 2020-05-27
SHOWBIZ Rufus Wainwright, LGBTQ films, Billy Porter, Janelle Monae 2020-05-27
THEATER Pride in Place Festival brings LGBTQ theater to stay-at-home audiences 2020-05-26
BAMtheatre starting virtual classes 2020-05-26
Steppenwolf names first woman Executive Director 2020-05-22
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-22
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play 2020-05-22
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Happiest Place on Earth 2020-05-21
Broadway In Chicago reschedules 'Frozen' 2020-05-21
'SapphFest' to take place virtually May 28-29 2020-05-21
First Folio to stream 'Cymbeline' in June 2020-05-19
Hell in a Handbag updates season with 'Girls,' 'Tiger Queen' 2020-05-19
Victory Gardens announces IGNITION Festival of New Plays 2020-05-18
Broadway in Chicago updates show schedule 2020-05-15
Brick by brick, Mark Larson talks about a life of LEGOs 2020-05-14
'Six' postponed until November 2020-05-14
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-14
'Dear Evan Hansen' cancelled 2020-05-14
FILM Eric Rosen, from About Face to the movie 'Netuser' 2020-05-13
Arts funding faces challenges in new landscape 2020-05-13
'Teenage Dick' to now run through May 17 2020-05-13
Brown Paper Box announces final season 2020-05-13
'Seize the Stage' benefit May 21 2020-05-12
Mercury Theater Chicago remote video content to include "On the Road to Priscilla" 2020-05-08
Victory Gardens has new management model, names new ED 2020-05-05
Actors Gym to stream original production Isolated 2020-05-04
STREAMING THEATER REVIEW All-One! The Dr. Bronner's Plays 2020-05-04
Second City streaming free improv shows 2020-04-30
'Teenage Dick' virtual run extended through May 17 2020-04-29
Nominations announced for 47th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards 2020-04-28
League fights to help save Chicago venues 2020-04-26
NU professor among academy's new members 2020-04-25
Ravinia's production of Bernstein's 'Mass' on PBS on May 15 2020-04-24
Victory Gardens unveils 2020-21 season, streaming 'Fun Home' 2020-04-22
Brown Paper Box announces final season 2020-04-21
MOVIES About Face co-founder writes, directs 'Netuser' 2020-04-20
 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.